The Vampire Diaries remains unironically one of my favorite TV shows — the previous episode, where Elena grieves for Jeremy, was genuinely powerful and a rare serious look at death on a show that's generally cavalier about it. But last night's episode underscored a serious problem: This is a show about remorseless killers, and they're not killing nearly enough people. Spoilers ahead...
Seriously, there were two main storylines in last night's episode, "Bring It On":
1) Elena has lost her humanity and become a total monster, running out of control with the biting and the bad cheerleading and the ribbon-stealing and the kegger-throwing and the motorist-almost-killing. And yet, she somehow manages to go the entire episode without actually, you know, killing anybody. She does hurt Caroline's mom and try to kill Caroline, though, so that's something.
2) Klaus is hanging out with Hayley and being super charming, even though Hayley is a jerk to him and also helped organize that hybrid uprising that's ostensibly the reason why Klaus is going to hunt Tyler for the next 100 years. Of course, Hayley was only planning to set up the hybrids so Klaus would murder them for Professor Shane — but she was still a big part of losing Klaus his hybrids. In any case, Klaus plies her with booze and terrible paintings and sex, and meanwhile does not try to kill the Salvatores or Elena or the host of others who helped to kill his brother Kol.
Of the two of these storylines, I think the Klaus one bothered me more — Klaus really ought to be killing a major character in every episode, or he ought to be gone for long stretches. Or else, why exactly did Katherine Pierce have to be on the run for 500 years from him? As far as we know, Katherine did nothing to Klaus on the level of what the Salvatores and Elena have done at this point — and still, Klaus hangs out in the same town as them and shows no desire to wipe them out at all. Yes, Klaus loves Caroline. And if he killed Elena, Caroline would be mad at him for, oh, a few decades out of the eternity they're both going to be around. Caroline would get over it, eventually, or Klaus would get over her. One or the other, or both.
Actually, this really just underscores the major problem that Vampire Diaries continues to face — there's nobody left to kill. There are no humans left on the show, apart from Mayor Dad, Sheriff Mom, April and Matt. Am I forgetting anyone else? Once those four are dead, it's basically all just vampires breaking each other's necks over and over again, for weeks. Even though I still think a spinoff about the Originals would be major overkill, at least it would get some of the vampires out of Mystic Falls, and maybe both shows would get to develop some new human supporting characters for the vampires to kill or turn.
In any case, now that Elena is out of the one town that has hot and cold running vervaine, hopefully we'll start seeing her tear out the throats of Brooklyn hipsters right and left. Cue your own joke about artisanal blood spatters. But Klaus is a much bigger problem — now that Damon Salvatore can just wander into Klaus' house and tell him he sucks at everything, with zero fear that Klaus will rip Damon's head off, I'm just not sure how we're supposed to take the Original Hybrid seriously any more. The "lovable painter" schtick only works if Klaus kills anyone who crosses him. And honestly, it wouldn't be bad to see the Salvatores living in fear a bit.
I did like Stefan being the old fuddy duddy as Elena goes on a rager and prances around naked, though.